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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grand Central, Beer Goggle Santa and Bloomingdales. Enjoy !!

Grand Central Station.....A Masterpiece

Click on the pics to enlarge and appreciate.

If I had learned education, I would not have had time to learn anything else.

Born on Staten Island, Vanderbilt began working on ferries in and around New York as a young boy, quitting school at age 11. By age 16 he was operating his own business—after having borrowed money from his mother—ferrying freight and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan. During the War of 1812, he received a government contract to supply the forts around New York City. He operated sailing schooners, which is where he gained his nickname of "Commodore."

On December 19, 1813, Cornelius Vanderbilt married his cousin and neighbor, Sophia Johnson (1795-1868), daughter of his aunt Elizabeth Hand Johnson. He and his wife had 13 children, 1 died in childhood.

You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for the law is too slow. I will ruin you.

—-Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1853 (in a letter to former business associates Morgan & Garrison

Net worth $167.4 billion, according to Wealthy historical figures 2008, based on information from Forbes - February 2008. Thanks Wikipedia.

In October 1871, Vanderbilt struck up a partnership with the New York and New Haven Railroad to join with the railroads he owned to consolidate operations at one terminal at East 42nd Street called Grand Central Depot, which was the original Grand Central Terminal, where his statue reigns today. The glass roof of the depot collapsed during a blizzard on the same day Vanderbilt died in 1877. The station was not replaced until 1903-1913.

Never knew that.

...and here he is Cornelius himself under a very large wreath. I once had his granddaughter Wendy in my taxi and as we took the same route I commented to her how I grew up in Staten Island and visited her ancestors mausoleum which is a work of art at Moravian Cemetery in Staten Island. She commented to me that she and her family were always proud that the city preserved what he built. She was a charming woman and I hope I get her in my taxi again.

Now , lets do a 360 and REALLY appreciate MY FIRST DRUNK SANTA ever in my taxi.

Thank you , thank you, please please, everyone stop clapping and get back to the blog.

I got in line as 2 cabs pulled up to this Santa and as they pulled off leaving Santa Claus without a ride I felt the NEED to get Santa to his destination regardless of his state of mind.

ITS SANTA DAMMIT !!! I was the lucky one to pick Santa up. Beer Goggles and all.

A Christmas classic indeed.

Before I let Santa in I locked the doors and asked if he was going to puke as he hiccuped where his destination was which was believe it or not Macy's at 34th St...His answer was "I did that already , don't worry about it" A Miracle to 34th St indeed was occurring in my cab tonight ...a drunk guy ....NOT going to throw up...and Kris Kringle heading towards the grandpooba of Santa gatherings round the world !!! He got in , asked me kindly to put some rock n roll on and BLAST it ...He gave me a station number , I cranked it up , he said "F*** yeah , thats what Santa needs" and then passed out. Tears flowed down my cheeks at the fact that Santa was sleeping in my Taxi....and here he is sleeping with his beer goggles up against the partition. It truly is Christmas.

....and he sinks lower and lower as I hold my breath that he doesn't puke...SANTA don't puke !!!
He awoke exactly at where I was gong to leave him at a red light across the street from Macy's , thanked me for stopping and cranking the music , wished me a Merry Christmas , tipped me $5 and exited the cab to a gaggle of people trying to get an empty taxi and coherently put his beer goggles on and walked into the new customers asked " Was Santa drunk?". I replied , "no he was Shitcanned"....BUT he was Santa so let it go !! ...and they did.

The front of Bloomingdales.

The back of Bloomingdales.

Bloomindales has speakers set up which play Tony Bennett tracks off of his new CD, "A Swingin' Christmas featuring the Count Basie Big Band" as you walk by all the decorated windows. Tony was from where my father and mother grew up and I grew up a little in Astoria,Queens NYC. I saw him perform in Vegas at The Desert Inn for the Millennium with his daughter as the opening act and Mr.Warmth Don Rickles at a table right next to me. He actually sang a song without a microphone to show how the Desert Inn acoustics were so well built that he didn't need a microphone. He sounded great.

This is his first holiday album in 40 years.

You can hear other tracks at this site:

...or just click on the video and listen as you scroll through Bloomie's with The King.....Soooooo what are ya gonna buy me?

Click on the photos to enlage and enjoy.

Jingle Bells.

Jingle Bells photo # 2.

Silver Bells.

I'll be home for Christmas.

The Christmas Waltz.

Christmastime is here.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Santa Claus is coming to town ..why?? BECAUSE THE KING PICKED HIS DRUNK ASS UP !!!

Oh Christmas tree.

Well, thanks for visiting Bloomingdale's with me , I had a grand time and appreciate all the gift cards you'll be sending my way ....I may not work at Bloomie's but I am the King Of New York Hacks. Hope all your shopping is done and as my fellow brother Mad D.C. Cabbie always says, please don't forget the homeless. Peace out.

I really mean it ...the King was homeless once ...and it ain't no fucking picnic. Reach out my brothers and sisters, its the holidays and it is COLD here .

Nuff said....Thanks for stopping by everyone , next stop maybe Rockefeller Center...or who knows ?? Its a fun ride no matter !!!!


  1. That last pic was so touching. When i left home at 15 I was homeless for almost a year...

  2. What a ride! That Santa with the beer googles was freaking hilarious! Geez, so people puke in your cab all the time? How do you manage? Maybe you need to staple white puke bags to the back seat.

    I've never been to NYC. So nice pics. I gotta get my ass over there someday.

  3. Thank you for taking care of Santa in his time of need.

    And even more thanks for the windows. Lovely!

    I've been homeless myself. Luckily my family forgave me and took me back...

  4. back front, i dunno which is which for bloomie's. nice stuff on vanderbuilt, specially since it's my b-day too! i might find an old grand central pick somewhere. i thought i saw an old pic of it recently.

  5. wait a sec, married his cousin today! oh that's not so cool

  6. ooooo look at all the pretty Bloomingdale colors...

  7. I'll be back. I need some time to think about what I want to say. Give me a day or so to absorb what I've read. Trust me, I'll be back.

    Thanks for wanting the remote. Just so you know, it won't do you any good!!! Good luck with that honey!

    This blog is amazing. I'm from NY, upstate (The Catskills) and it's like coming home. I just want to cry. I miss it you know, but somehow you capture all that I miss and bring a comfort I haven't felt in a very long time. I love your photos and love your writing. I'm so glad you aren't homeless and that you've found your voice. You have no idea how very much that means to me. I deal with homeless at the park where I feed the ferals every day, and it is always my sincere hope they will find their way. I'm hoping you will share your story and help me inspire a homeless person I love to find his or her way. It's a very small world, isn't it? I love that about life. We all discover one another for a reason. I'm so grateful I found you. I'm crying. Not because I'm sad, because I'm happy. You probably already know, I'm not religious, but believe someone is helping us! Thank you for coming into my life, even if it was by IV's remote!!! Hey, not funny!!!


    I'll be back.

  8. Wow! I learned so much today!

    Love the Vanderbilt quote. Incredible story.

    Drunk Santa? Yikes.

  9. OK, so I'm not going to kick your ass now. LOL I LOVE your blog. I've only been to New York once but fell in love and long to go back. Thanks for the great tours, especially now at Christmas time. I love it. And for the reminder to give back.

  10. Oh and I can see from this post that you do agree that Santa Claus is sacred. *wink*

  11. Your background on Vanderbilt is amazing, and all those links! Awesome job. I live near Vanderbilt University and I didn't even know some of that stuff.

    Your pictures of the stores are amazing- it makes me miss the time I spent holidays in NYC. Thank you.

    And Santa... well, I had my picture made with Santa just a couple weeks ago. I knew something was up when he kept telling me the picture would be much better if I would move in closer... ;)

  12. Awesome info about Cornelius, great Santa story, very festive photos, and a touching ending. Why do I feel like I just watched a Lifetime movie? Great post!

  13. Next time you pick up a Santa and he passes out in the backseat, bring him to a little town in western Pennsylvania and I'll pay his fare. I could make good use of a Santa over the holidays.

  14. I hope they round up all of the homeless and keep them warm during the cold spell next week. The NYC homeless should migrate to Key West for the winter.

  15. I love drunk santa stories. More please!!!

  16. Bro:

    That was great - history, comedy, photos, and some reminders of how fortunate many of us are. "There but for the grace of God go I..."

    I like the slice o' life approach. Also, it's very cool to get a POV on NYC that isn't fiction or a movie. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

  17. Hey thanks for the great pics, King! Such a treat to see the windows all decorated.!..we don't have that in my town...and I learned about Mr. Vanderbilt, so thanks for the history!

  18. This entire post is the best damn Christmas present I could ask for. Informative, touching, funny, and entertaining to boot!

    And hey, ya just know it ain't Christmas until Santa puts on his beer goggles!!


  19. I think these pictures would help anyone feel more like the holiday spirit is upon them!

  20. What a trip! I almost feel like I'm in NYC, too. Love your site, what an amazing story and life you have. Rock on, king.... rock on!!

  21. I'm heading to NYC for a Children's Writing Conference January 31. Even though we have NO money, if I'm gonna try to get my books published I HAVE to go. How about a cab ride???????

  22. this was absolutely, without a doubt, the BEST car ride i have had in a really long, damn time.

    did santa crop dust in your cab?

  23. Every flight I take, I take the sick bag from the seat pocket. And when i get home, I keep the seat pockets in the back of my cab stocked with inflight magazines and sick bags.

    You get to spot those with potential, and when they get in - if I let them in - I let them know the drill. "If we need to stop suddenly, just say the word and you'll see just how fast a cabbie can stop. There are sick bags in the seat pockets if need be. And if you don't make it, there's a fifty dollar fee for soiling the cab."

    It's been a while since I had anyone sick up, but plenty have asked me to stop in a hurry. I turn the meter off and let them get it all out of their system, and hand them the box of tissues when they get back in. Better the rosebushes of some random householder than my pristine cab.

  24. How in God's name you came my way - I have no friggin' idea. But it must be an early Christmas present because your blog rules! The pics are jumpin' out at me....all colorful and holiday and brilliant.

    I'm following you now too...

  25. King, Never fear I won't forget my city's homeless I worked them twice this week.. It's the most rewarding thing I have done. thanks for coming by today. I love your visits and your blog.
    Bless you my friend,

  26. I love the drunken santa! slowly sinking into the back seat. The comment made to the next customers about him being not only drunk but shitcanned is priceless.

  27. This is a wonderful blog - thanks for visiting me on No Chickadees. You are a natural storyteller who obviously takes great pleasure in laying out the pieces of his tale.

    I LOVE your deep appreciation of drunk Santa. I get it. I really do.

    Happy Holidays from Edinburgh.

  28. Woa! What a cool Santa you picked up!(^o^). NY seems exciting. I've never been there and I do hope to visit someday.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and inviting here. This is nice blog and got me so moved that I am going to be follower right now...

  29. Thanks for the tour of New York...drunk Santa and all:-)

  30. A lot of interesting stuff in this post! I visit a number of blogs out of NYC, and there never seems to be a dull moment!

  31. and ANOTHER thing, i LOVED the tour of Bloomie's and the drunken Santa story!! Your job provides GREAT bloggy material, too!!!

  32. Great post - 1st time here, thank you for your comment. Hope Santa sobers up in time for Xmas. They could make a movie "The King who Rescued Santa!"

  33. It's not Christmas without a drunk Santa! Forsrs. Therefore, you're a good man, a hero in fact, for picking him up and single-handedly saving the holidays.

    And he's a good man for not puking in your cab. Because Santa spew is literally like... infinitely worse than coal.

  34. Hey King of New York Hacks,

    I'm in the Philippines and we're really big on Christmas but I've never seen a "Santa" while growing up. They didn't have Santas in the malls back in the day but now they do. I used to watch holiday flicks like Home Alone and wished we had Santa's like you do over there.

    I had fun reading this post. Thanks for dropping by my blog, too.

    Keep writing.


  35. Now I know who my four year old was drinking with!!! Thanks for stopping by...

  36. thanks for the tour from this spun-out-anxiety-ridden-mother-from-Jersey who just can't find the courage to cross the Hudson River!

  37. Amazing photos and tour of New York. This is one of the best entries I've seen on the internet in sometime. I'll most definitely return!

    Great post!

  38. first time seeing your blog, as you left a comment on mine. thank you! i'm chris, known as C, nice to meet ya. i also am from upstate NY, malone, up near lake placid. but NYC has always been close to me heart, as my father took me there when i was a little girl. it was amazing and some of the good memories i have of him. he drove trailways bus and took me on tours with him. the 1st time i walked through china town when i was 5-6, i knew i was a city girl. i felt like i belonged there. roaming through your blog took me back, and made me feel warm. new yorkers are the best. and god bless your heart for all the random acts of kindness you do. you are an angel. i think those of us that have lost everything, at some point, then picked ourselves up and started over, are the strong people with the most caring hearts, cuz we've been there and know how it feels to be on the other side. so maybe the purpose of our losses and/or tragedies, are so we can help others, down the line, and have the compassion they need to receive. ya never know what difference we may make in someone's life with just a howdy, or smile, or 5 bucks. ya just never know. merry christmas, sir, you ARE the king of nyc hacks. ;)
    and god keep you safe always.


    i watch taxi cab confessions and love it! have you ever done that?

  39. I felt like I was right there! Loved the pix, The last pic was very touching

  40. Those are great photos bro, there nothing like NY during Christmas time.
    Got a shot of Park Ave lined with the Christmas trees?

  41. I'd have never stopped believing in Santa if I knew he got fucking blitzed. It makes the whole story make sense now.

    Also, painfully beautiful photo at the end. Here I am bitching about Christmas costs and then you whip this out.

  42. Love your blog! Thank you so much for sharing these great pics. It's a view for me into a world I've ever seen.

  43. Wow. Guess even Santa isn't immune to drowning his sorrows during these difficult economic times. Good to hear you were able to help him out.

  44. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. And for the tour of NY, I've never been there and this was fun to see! Happy Holidays!!

  45. poor old santa - too much xmas cheer! glad you tookcare of him and glad he didn't puke

  46. Poor Santa...maybe he got peed on one too many times that day? Love your blog and enjoyed learning about the history of the Vanderbilts. Thanks for checkin out my blog and hope to see you back! Happy holidays! ; )

  47. Very interesting information about Cornelius, very funny story with Santa and great images to end your post and make us all remember this world is divided in two! Well done!

  48. I've always wanted to come across a hammered Santa in my lifetime. That story was hilarious and your pictures are great. It makes me want to come to NYC.

  49. I bet it's so chaotically fun this time of the year!

    You were so sweet to pick up a Santa in need. :)

  50. You've added another book to my reading list, "The New York Chronology"

    Vanderbilt made me think of Schif, Harriman, and Seligman. I couldn't recall who worked for Harriman, Schif or Seligman? So I started doing some googling. I see this blip that makes it look like Vanderbilt dug the first tunnel under Broadway, so now I have to read the book.

    Merry Christmas King!!!!

    Thanks for the book, I love it!!!!

    Your gift is the verbose version of the dwarf story. Enjoy.

  51. Love the pictures of the window displays… reminds me of days gone by when Marshall Fields used to be Marshall Fields and they had a great window display.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  52. I love a drunk Santa!!! They are just so easy to find and usually in a great drunken state.

  53. Wonderful!!! Loved your blog...

  54. The Santa story has me cracking up man.

  55. Thanks for the ride, I like a driver who can pick out the best parts of his city.

  56. Bloomingdales!!!! You can really make a former NY Jewish woman's heart sing. Thanks for the memories. Every time I read your blog I laugh and I cry.

  57. I was a little disappointed that "Drunk Santa" didn't have a shiny nose or red cheeks or even round glasses...oh well, modern day Santas! PRICELESS!!

    How about a tour thru the PARK...
    Love the Vanderbilt info...and I have a 2nd cousin that I wouldn't mind....oops...never mind! :D
    Have the Best and most Fabulous Holiday ...DAHLING! ;)

  58. What an adventure. Every day must have at least one memorable event in it. Merry Christmas!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed your visit.

  59. Perfect Post King ... and this is why you are KING!

    A drunken Santa in NYC - perfect.

    Bloomies windows - AWESOME!

    Tony and Christmas tunes - oh yeah, it's classic.

    Thanks for taking me to New York this Christmas.

  60. ugh ... forgot

    Reminder to think of those less fortunate ... THANKS!

    Been thinking about helping my church deliver meals to the homeless ... with the temperature dropping lately - I'm buying some extra blankets and gloves and hats!

  61. thank for visiting (MAD)DP.

    I which you a Merry Xmas and a Happy new Year... and keep on with your great blog.

  62. Oh I love that you picked up a drunken Santa. Merry Christmas indeed! Any Santa who likes his rock cranked is alright by me!

    Merry Christmas!

  63. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

    Love the pictures, now I really feel like a small town hick (my little town has ONE stoplight) LOL

  64. King, I was homeless once, with three kids. You're right. No picnic.

    I think that you are quite a charactor. The quintessential New Yorker. I love this.